Do you need a professional web designer or can you just make your own web site? Well do you need a professional painter or can you just paint your own house? The answer is of course is you can paint your own house but it is going to take time and chances are it won’t be as good as if you had hired a professional. The same is true about web design. If you are just setting up a blog for personal use, there is no need to pay for a professional, but if you are setting up a site for your business and you want good search engine rankings, you are better off hiring a good web designer. Hopefully your homemade web site will not look as bad as the one pictured above.

With a little bit of time, patience and  knowledge of computers you can set up your own web site for free. This is fine for your personal blog but as with most things you get what you pay for. Below is a list of pros and cons of setting up your own web site.

Advantages:

  • It is free.
  • You have total control over the content on the site.
  • You will get some valuable knowledge about setting up web sites.

Disadvantages:

  • Your  site may look like a lot of other people’s web sites.
  • It may look like a free web site.

What are the advantages of using a professional compared to setting up your own site?

Appearance

You can set up a free web site using an out-of-the box theme but your site will not be original and may look just like your competitors. A professional web designer can create an original theme or adapt a theme to suit your business. Not all themes are responsive so when you are choosing a theme make sure that it looks good in mobile devices.

Usability

Your out of the box free web site may not be user friendly and may be difficult for people with disabilities to use. A web designer has understanding of user experience and website accessibility so he can advise you on how to make your site a joy for your visitors rather than a frustration.

Speed

Pictures can slow down your site and people may leave the site before your page has even loaded. Pictures should be optimised to provide a fast download while still providing an acceptable quality. There are free photo optimising programs but you may not want to spend the time learning how to use them.

Search Engine Optimisation

A good Web designer understands about search engine optimisation (SEO) and can increase the chances of visitors finding your site. She will know what methods are good practice and what methods could provide short term results but could in the long run lead to a search engine penalty.

Conclusion

You can set up your own web site for free using Weebly or Webs. You can set up a website using Squarespace and choose from their lovely templates but you still have to learn how to use these sites and that can take time and frustration. You don’t need a web designer to set up your personal blog. You can use Blogger or WordPress.com.

If you want a profession web site for your business that looks great and is search engine friendly and you don’t have a lot of time on your hands you are better off hiring a qualified web designer.